Hillary Clinton: A Look Back At Her Latest Chapter

  @MayaErgas on
  • In The Beginning: Clinton In DC, February 21, 2009
    Clinton attends a news conference in Beijing February 21, 2009. Clinton said on Saturday the United States and China could help the world recover from economic crisis by working together, adding Washington appreciated Beijing's confidence in U.S. government debt.
  • Clinton And Obama
    Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama could team up for a 2016 presidential run.
  • Clinton On Military Plane
    Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli, Libya, Oct. 18, 2011. This photo spawned the popular blog Texts From Hillary.(textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com), cementing Clinton's place in annuls of Internet lore.
  • Clinton in Togo, January 17, 2012
    Clinton waves to local residents after meeting with Togo President Faure Gnassingbe at the Presidential Palace in Lome, Togo, January 17, 2012.
  • Clinton in Cartegena, April 12, 2012
    Clinton dances with members of her delegation in the Cafe Havana salsa bar, during a break from the Americas Summit in Cartagena April 15, 2012. Clinton went dancing after midnight at the bar known for its Cuban music, after a day of diplomacy at the Summit.
  • Clinton in Belgium, April 18, 2012
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton winks at Belgium's Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo (L) as they say goodbye after a meeting at the prime minister's residence in Brussels, Belgium, April 18, 2012.
  • Clinton and Indian Foreign Minister Krishna, June 13, 2012
    Hillary Clinton calls a time-out during a multipart question by an Indian journalist, as India's Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna smiles during a news conference at the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in Washington last June 13.
  • Clinton in Kabul, July 7, 2012
    Clinton reacts during a joint news conference in Kabul July 7, 2012. The United States has named Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally, Clinton said on Saturday, a move that could reinforce Washington's message to Afghans that they will not be abandoned as the war winds down.
  • Clinton and Mandela, August 6, 2012
    Clinton meets with Nelson Mandela, 94, former president of South Africa, at his home in Qunu, South Africa, August 6, 2012. Clinton praised the "beautiful" smile of her friend Mandela when they met at his country home on Monday during her multi-nation trade and security tour through Africa. Mandela, in failing health, has only seen a few visitors outside his family in recent years. During his 94th birthday celebration last month, the anti-apartheid leader met Hillary's husband and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
  • Clinton and Benghazi, January 23, 2013
    Clinton pounds her fists as she responds to intense questioning on the September attacks on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington January 23, 2013.
  • Clinton and Burmese Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi, December 2, 2011
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) hugs Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they meet at Suu Kyi's house in Yangon Dec. 2, 2011. Clinton held a final meeting with Suu Kyi on Friday as she wrapped up a landmark visit to Myanmar which saw the new civilian government pledge to forge ahead with political reforms and re-engage with the world community.
1 of 11

Now-former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave her last talks on her second-to-last day on the job to an assembled mass at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C. She addressed America's need to change its diplomatic tactics, to keep up with technology and accept the fact that we need to be both a world leader and a partner to governments everywhere.

Clinton said she dismissed “declinists” who were predicting the imminent doom of the American empire, instead emphasizing that America needed to readjust its diplomacy style. After World War II, she explained, the U.S. led the charge to set up the U.N., the IMF, the World Bank and NATO. These institutions, Clinton said, “protected our interests, defended universal values and benefited peoples and nations around the world.” But, she continued, the world has undeniably changed, and the U.S. can no longer sit back and relax, confident in its power.

“Two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a different world,” Clinton said. “The old post-war architecture is crumbling under the weight of new threats. We have to be smart about how we use our power, not because we have less of it. ... No, it's because as the world has changed, so too have the levers of power that can most effectively shape international affairs.”

Clinton went on to speak to the concept of “actually showing up” in a world where “we can be anywhere virtually” and of setting up partnerships with more than just regional governments. In her time as secretary of state, Clinton visited a record number of countries: 114, recording just under 1 million miles traveled, and 401 days away from Washington D.C., according to the State department.

She has also set a precedent for visiting some of the most overlooked countries in the world, such as Togo and the Cook Islands.

“Tomorrow is my last day as secretary of state,” Clinton said. “It’s hard to predict what any day in this job will bring, but tomorrow my heart will be full.”

Clinton gave her actual last address as secretary of state to her employees on Friday, her last day on the job. She officially resigned the post at 2 p.m. As Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass quipped at the end of Clinton’s speech, the next secretary of state, John Kerry, “has some very big Manolo Blahniks to fill.”

Join the Discussion